Edward Weston's Shell, 6S (1927) is set to headline Christie's Photographs evening sale in New York on October 4.
It's expected to sell for around $400,000-600,000.
The work is the rarest of all the photographs in Weston's pioneering Shells series.
Weston made this print himself (partly explaining its high valuation) and gifted it to his friend Arthur Millier, an art critic for the Los Angeles Times.
There are six original prints of this image known; the others are all in permanent collections.
Christie's comments: "It is believed that this print of Shells, 6S is the only vintage print of the image in private hands…
"The verso of the print offered here bears Weston's signature along with the word 'Glendale' and is dated '1927'."
Other highlights include Man Ray's Rayograph (1922), which is valued at $250,000-350,000.
The title is the name of a new photographic technique Man Ray pioneered.
He placed objects over photographic paper and exposed them to light, creating a ghostly afterimage. As the process does not use negatives, the works are impossible to duplicate - making them highly desirable to collectors.
One sold for $1.2m at Christie's in 2013, a record for a Man Ray photograph.
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